175 Makers of History: Catherine "Miss Kitty" Andrew Boyd

Catherine "Miss Kitty" Andrew Boyd
Enslaved African American

store receipt

General store account book
receipt showing 1842 purchase
by "Miss Kitty"
(Bryan Meltz;
Courtesy of MARBL)

One of several slaves owned by Methodist Episcopal Church Bishop James O. Andrew -- chair of the board of Emory College in 1844 -- Catherine "Miss Kitty" Andrew Boyd came to stand both for national divisions over slavery and for differing understandings of race relationships in Oxford, Georgia.

That a Methodist bishop owned slaves became a point of contention in the national Methodist church of 1844 and led to the division of the church into northern and southern branches.

One version of her story views her as an innocent pawn in a political struggle beyond her ken, a woman who in time was allowed by her owner to live as if free, despite the laws of Georgia. Another version sees her as possibly the daughter of her master by another slave, or perhaps even his coerced mistress. At her death at the age of perhaps twenty-nine, in 1851, she left a husband, Nathan Boyd, and three children. Her grave is in Oxford's city cemetery.